Category Archives: Top Prospects
Today, the Salt River Rafters will head to Glendale to play the Desert Dogs in the first part of a two-game tilt that could very well decide the fate of the season of either team.
In basketball the athletes chosen in the first round are expected to contribute immediately, meaning that a draft can change the chances of success for a team with a shrewd first round selection. This is not usually the case in baseball, where it often takes a year or two before a draftee is even mentioned amongst an organization’s top prospects, even in weaker minor league systems. The development of pitching and the difficulty of hitting said improving pitching necessitates a slow and gradual build toward the crescendo of the Major Leagues. Cubs 3B Kris Bryant still appears to be waiting for that challenge to present itself, despite the fact that he’s been facing live pitching since January. In the Arizona Fall League last night, Kris Bryant got a single hit in the Solar Sox’ contest against the Surprise Saguaros, bringing his AFL wRC+ up to a Miggian 213. He also kept alive a streak that has reached 20 games spanning back into the regular season, including each of the 17 AFL games he’s played in, where he’s reached base safely.
No-hit performances by pitchers are a bit like throwing a bulls-eye in a game of darts. The difference between a skilled dart-thrower and a non-skilled dart-thrower is great; it is unarguably a skill that is improved by the muscle memory gained via practice. Much like anything in life, skill at darts progresses along a curve; making the same effort to improve will provide diminishing returns as you move up in skill. One cannot practice enough to be able to throw a dart into the bulls-eye every time; it is conceivably possible to comprehend, but the amount of practice that would seemingly be required is prohibitive. This same effect can be seen in most any field where skill plays in; an average Joe has a miniscule chance of beating a master dart-thrower in a standard game of darts, but relative to the gap between their skill levels they have a much closer-together chance of throwing three bulls-eyes in a row. There’s an old expression about how you have to be good to get the chance to be lucky, and baseball offers more glimpses at the elite getting lucky than possibly any other modern entertainment.
There is no sure-fire recipe for success in the big leagues; success in the big leagues is not a cake, nor does it resemble a cake in more than a couple cursory ways. Instead, success in the major leagues seems to be attainable by a number of different methods. If one is a starting pitcher, one could conceivably succeed in myriad ways. One could, for instance, use superior command to generate weak contact in spite of a lack of overpowering stuff; creating an abundance of ground balls that are hopefully far less damaging to the score of your team. If one were a pitcher in the Minnesota Twins organization, you could be forgiven for having believed that this was actually the only avenue by which one would be allowed to succeed. Alex Meyer, the top pitching prospect in said Minnesota Twins organization, continued his quest to dispel you of these inaccurate notions as, on Friday, he racked up 7 Ks across 6.1 innings and gave up just a walk and a single hit (a double down the right field line off the bat of Yankees farmhand Addison Maruszak).
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